This is how asparagus becomes a delight: it depends on the pot and the cooking water
The asparagus season is in full swing. The tender, versatile vegetables from local cultivation will be available until the end of June at weekly markets, at roadside stands and in grocery stores. The crispy sticks are especially tasty when freshly prepared. It is well worth paying attention to such banal things as cookware and cooking water.
Of course, the cleaned, peeled and finally shortened asparagus can be cooked lying in any sufficiently large pot. However, this requires a comparatively large amount of water - namely so much that all the poles are just covered with water. However, this often affects the sensitive heads, which require a shorter cooking time than the sticks. It is also difficult to balance the poles from the pot onto the plate without large puddles.
Lovers of fine vegetables prefer special asparagus pots. They consist of a tall, narrow saucepan with a sieve insert or wire frame. The asparagus spears are cooked upright. The Federal Center for Nutrition advises that the water should only cover two thirds of the sticks. This is how the sensitive heads cook in the steam when the lid is closed and do not become so mushy. At the end of the cooking time, the strainer and the asparagus are lifted out of the cooking water. This can then be used for a sauce or soup.
In addition to some salt, the hot boiling water also needs a pinch of sugar. The sugar reduces any bitter substances present. This is particularly helpful with green asparagus, which contains more bitter substances than its white relatives. A dash of lemon juice prevents unsightly discolouration on white or purple asparagus. But be careful: the splash must not be too big, otherwise the aroma will suffer. Green asparagus, however, becomes slightly greyish with lemon juice; it is better not to do this here. Finally, a piece of butter is added to the cooking water. The delicate asparagus aroma becomes even more intense.
Depending on the desired bite resistance, bleached asparagus is cooked after ten to twenty minutes over medium heat. The usually thinner and more delicate green asparagus only takes eight to fifteen minutes. Eva Neumann, bzfe.de